Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd
Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:42 PM
"The NBA Champion"
From one hardwood floor to another, basketball star Ron Artest hopes to execute some slam dunk moves on Season 13 of Dancing With The Stars!
Born in Queensbridge, New York, Ron Artest is currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and a father to four children. He was signed to a five-year contract by the Lakers as a free agent in 2009 and has been playing professional basketball in the NBA since 1999. He was selected to the 2005-06 NBA's All-Defensive Team, was voted by the media as 2003-04 NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, and was the only man with 271 steals in his first two seasons in the NBA—breaking Michael Jordan's record.
Ron won his first World Championship ring in June 2010 after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. He received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the NBA's highest citizenship and community service honor, in April 2011. In his career, he has played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Houston Rockets before heading to LaLaLand.
Ron has remained an active contributor in his hometown and in the cities of organizations for which he has played, working simultaneously in global regions that require urgent humanitarian aid. He formed a nonprofit in August 2007, entitled "Xcel University," to officially organize and streamline his charitable contributions and community endeavors under one umbrella. He joined a contingent of representatives from the NBA Players Association working with Feed the Children, as well as Project Contact Africa and became a spokesman in the PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) A.B.C. (Animal Birth Control) campaign in 2007.
In the fall of 2008, Ron launched "The Artest Math Masters" program at Felix Cook Jr. Elementary School in partnership with the Houston Independent School District which rewarded students who maintained high grades in Mathematics during the 2008-2009 school year. In fall 2010, Ron decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring with the proceeds going to his nonprofit, Xcel University. Funds raised through the ring raffle were earmarked to be donated to non-profits that provide mental health therapists and mental health services to those who wouldn't be able to otherwise afford them.
Ron has visited dozens of community centers, schools and libraries in low income areas of numerous cities throughout his career, speaking to kids about the virtues of education and a life devoid of violence and drugs, and on the importance of getting a college education. He sponsors summer basketball tournaments in the Queensbridge Projects in New York City, sends kids from Queensbridge to summer camps and pays tuition for kids from Queensbridge who show academic promise to attend private schools.
In June of 2011, Ron filed a petition to legally change his name to Metta World Peace. If the paperwork goes through in time, perhaps he'll get a chance to have his new name engraved on a snazzy Mirrorball Trophy!
Photo Credit: Marc Kallweit
CELEBRITY PARTNER: Ron Artest
Peta Murgatroyd was born in Auckland, New Zealand and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She studied classical ballet from the age of four and trained for 12 years under former principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Madame Lubov Nikonorenko.
Peta became the Australian State Champion within three months of beginning ballroom training. She has competed around the world, placing 2nd in the Great World City Championships, was a semi-finalist in the Lion City Championships in Singapore and was a finalist in the Australian Open Championships. She placed 3rd in the world at the British Youth Latin Championships in Blackpool 2006.
In 2004, Peta was chosen to be a cast member of Burn The Floor, which has sold in excess of 4 million tickets in over 30 countries and 160 cities worldwide. She toured the world with them for six years. Burn The Floor then landed on Broadway in August 2009, where Peta was the lead female dancer. Impressive!
After achieving her lifelong goal of being on Broadway, Peta ended her run with the production in January 2010 to pursue a career in film and television in Los Angeles. What better way to do that than as a pro on Dancing With The Stars
Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:41 AM
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